posted at 8/17/2011 1:44 PM EDT
Hey, Roger, great question.
I think a person's list of deal breakers should be very well thought out and very short. And, relationships that challenge any of these deal breakers shouldn't be entered into in the first place, so ultimatums shouldn't even been a thought.
However, we all know that we do get into relationships thinking, well, maybe that deal breaker isn't SO bad, and suddenly we realize we have a big problem. And, a real deal breaker ought to break the deal sooner rather than later.
Most things, imo, do not (or should not) fall into that deal breaker category, and we have to learn to live with the foibles and follies of our significant others. No one is perfect, and if people make a habit of issuing ultimatums, ultimately they will be miserable and alone.
In my experience, women are more cavalier about ultimatums and prone to use that tactic than men. It's a more passive way to handle a problem, for sure, to say, "You fix it or else."
All that being said, I'm not a fan and have never handled a problem that way even having gone through a divorce.
ETA: I'm a happily (re)married woman. :)